Friday, May 27, 2022

The People We've Never Met

Ray Liotta died this week. We had never met, but I felt the blow to my heart when I saw the headline. Dead at 67. A secret illness? A mob hit --- Goodfellas style.  Someone who had confused the gangster roles he had played with reality.

On the way from dropping my dog off at daycare this morning, there was an update on the radio. The morning show host who also was feeling the loss of this actor who neither one of us had met, reported that Ray Liotta had died in his sleep while on location in the Dominican Republic. No foul play was suspected. His fiancee had been with him. He had been working. He had been contemplating the future and his next film.

I don't know what it was about Ray Liotta that I loved. Maybe it was that smile. Maybe it was his jauntiness. Maybe was the emotions that played across his face or the voice that was always recognizable. Whatever it was, I felt his loss. 

There was other losses this week. Nineteen of them were children in a school in Texas. The father of one of them wept as he asked Anderson Cooper or someone from CNN how an 18 year old gunman could look at his little girl -- his beautiful, happy little girl -- and shoot her. Anderson or who ever the reporter was reached out to touch his arm as he wept. And I felt as if I knew that little girl and that father.

I cried again when I read the story of the man "who died of grief" -- his wife of 24 years and the mother of his four children had been one of the teachers who died in that school when an 18 year old boy with a high-powered gun in his hand opened fire. He died of a heart attack -- a "broken heart" -- two days later.

This week has been sad. During our three-day celebration of "the unofficial beginning of summer," I am going to pause and think about Ray Liotta and a weeping father and a man whose heart broke.  And about all the other losses we have had -- losses of people and stability. 

At some point this weekend, I will sit down at my computer, and I will write one of the scenes of the book I am working on. I don't know what I want to say or how I will say it. But I know I need to say something about what it means to be human. I need to say something about how we mourn for and with people we have never met.

1 comment:

Anna said...

Frankie, this week's tears started up again as I read your post. "What it means to be human" is indeed what we all need to stay with now.